Wide Open West (WOW) Cable Cards

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by samual.icky, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Dec 8, 2008 #241 of 285
    ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

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    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI

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    Not surprising, I asked if I could pick them up and install them. They said under no circumstances do they allow this. As it turns out, I knew a LOT more than their tech did, and he told me he may call me if he had any questions installing other customer's installs.

    I'm guessing your install will go well, especially if you read this string.
     
  2. Dec 9, 2008 #242 of 285
    ted_b

    ted_b New Member

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    Mar 8, 2002
    Well, the WOW cable installer showed up at noon (on time) and the process began on a bright note. He walked in and said that if I knew anything about TivoHD and the cable card specific issues he was all ears. He brought multiple S cards and was open to all Tivo recommendations. :)

    Overall the install went ok, but it took 2 hours. Why? Well, four reasons really:
    1) He was in the queue for quite awhile on the phone with the activitation folks;
    2) Card 2 was problematic and needed to be changed once;
    3) The cards wouldn't find any of the new channels (the addtl ones not found in the guided setup done earlier in the week without cable cards) until we did a reboot and a new guided setup;
    4) One full hour was taken with the Tivo reboot cuz it needed to do the 9.x to version 11 service upgrade. For whatever reason it wouldn't do that update without the cable cards. I even tried to force it a few times yesterday and the day before and it kept saying it needed to do a service update at 2am...which never materialized on either day.

    Once v11 installed it went on about the Guided Setup, now asked me about premium channels, yada yada and then found everything....for cable card 1!! Cable card 2 continued to miss the new channels until an addtl cableco call (even though the MMI screens said it was activated and paired). After 2-3 minutes of worrying and wondering if card 2 was bad again..all channels were found and all was right in the world.

    I give WOW an A- on this. Only bad marks were for the incredibly slow phone responses and queue. The installer was very open and flexible, took good notes and brought extra cards...all i could ask for.

    Now on to the 1TB upgrade! :)

    Ted
     
  3. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

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    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    Glad to hear it went well, and that you're finally "all hooked up."
     
  4. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...
    Had the WOW tech show up today with a single M-card. After following the TiVo procedures to the letter, we were able to get the card to sync up with the head-end as far as OOB goes, and things looked like they should work, but the majority of the channels either weren't working (for example, QVC should be on channel 11, and when I remove the CableCARD, it tunes to 11/QVC just fine, but with the CableCARD, nothing) or they were working but their channel numbers were totally off. The tech stayed for a few hours beyond the end of the scheduled service window, and we decided it would be best if they came back tomorrow (Saturday) with additional cards (I specified an M card and two S cards). I spent a few hours on the phone with the TiVo CableCARD hot-line, and they were extremely throughout. After many reboots, resets, guided-setups and card-reseats (not to mention a TELEVISION unplugging recommended...insisted...by WOW technician [couldn't hurt...but my thought was it couldn't help either - I actually asked the CSR: "You do realize the TV is an output device, right?"]) I'm just glad that I can pull the card and use the TiVoHD like a dual-tuner on the analog side. Is there anything this group can recommend based on the current TiVo and WOW climate? I'm on the current TiVo software (11) and can supply you any other information you need to assist.

    Thanks!
     
  5. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...

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    Had a different tech show up today from WOW, first time he arrived, he didn't have a cable card. He was able to pickup another card later in the day, and returned. After putting the new card in, we're having the same problem as with the other card. He also spoke with the other technician out in the field, same geography, same card, same TiVoHD, same exact problem. So three cards (identical), two TiVoHD units, same geography and service provider, same problem.

    Here's what I have:

    - TiVo HD at the latest software revision (11)
    - Scientific Atlanta Multi-Stream PowerKEY Model PKM800
    Date Code: 07/28/2007 HW 1.2 "F"
    - I have perfect signal strength on all channels, even the black ones, between 93 and 100, dipping sometimes to 85 but mainly stays rock-solid between 93 and 100.
    - There is an OOB lock, channel guide is downloading, CA is authorized, things just look good based on what I'm seeing on the TiVo CableCARD troubleshooting site and PDF files.

    Here's what I'm experiencing:

    - Channels are not where they should be, so, for example, channel 11 should be QVC, and if I remove the CableCARD, I can tune all the regular channels just fine. When I place the CableCARD in, the whole standard TV package shifts up into the 100's. Music Choice should start at 500 and go to 547, but it's actually down where the HD channels should be at around 200. HD channels are somewhere in the high 200's, so when I tune to 299, I get something in the middle of the HD line-up. If I channel up or down, the channels are in-order within their class, but NONE of the channels "line up" with what I expect. I have not audited each and every channel, but I will do so when I get a chance, to see if anything's missing.

    I have an escalated call in with TiVo, which is showing as assigned to a L2 engineer. I will also have the cable company come back out with (hopefully) two single cards, and two multi cards on Monday. At this point, I don't think it's a problem with the cards being bad as individual cards, if anything it seems like it might be a problem endemic with my geography, the head-end and the cards themselves. But someone feel free to prove me wrong. :)

    Any ideas? Things to try? TiVo thinks it's the card, WOW isn't sure what it is...and I'm not entirely sure how to progress. Is it just a problem with my area?
     
  6. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

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    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    I'm sorry, I can't help you--no "M" card here, just two standard cable cards. What area are you in?
     
  7. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...
    Oops sorry, didn't include that. I'm in the Columbus, Ohio area, west-side (Galloway) near Hilliard.
     
  8. dino360

    dino360 New Member

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    Dec 29, 2008
    Gecko4639 do you have any idea if TivoHD without cable cards allows you to get the local HD channels? I am thinking about just getting the basic cable (no cable cards) if I can still get the local channels in HD from the cable company (not via antenna).


     
  9. Gecko4639

    Gecko4639 New Member

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Dino,

    Yes, a TivoHD without cable cards will get you the local HDs. If you get basic cable, hook it up to the Tivo, and do a channel scan, you should get ABC, NBC, CBS, etc in HD plus all the Music Choice digital music channels.

    However, you won't have any guide information for those HD channels because the Tivo doesn't know what they are. So if you want to record something on them, you have to do a manual recording like you would on a VCR. You'll have to set up something like "Channel 200, Monday 12/29, 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM".
     
  10. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

    16
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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...
    After four trips from the WoW technicians, the issue was "resolved" in a few hours by replacing the multi-card with two single-cards. The firmware on the cards both updated, took about 30 minutes apiece, and we waited until one card was happy until we worked with the next card.

    With the multi-cards, all the channels were coming in, but they were (by tier) moved all around the channel spectrum. So, for example, QVC should be on channel 11 in my geography, yet it was up in the 100-range. Within that range, they were "in order" just shifted. Movie choice was down where the HD should have been, and the HD was up in the 300 range where the movie choice should have been.

    The single-cards needed a firmware update and then a TiVo reboot to get things happy. Then the tech had to call back and coordinate with both the regular CSRs (front-line) and then the backline NOC. After three or four calls, he finally got through to someone who could fix the problem we were experiencing (which was half of the HD channels not being visible, and the "digital" package missing as well). After a few re-sends/resets things came back up on both tuners (the first cable card was happier first) and we stepped through the problem channels on both tuners.

    For those of you considering getting your CableCARDs installed on a TiVo HD, here are some personal pointers:

    1) Don't mess with the TiVo while the firmware is being updated. The TiVo will automatically do something (go back to a previous menu or whatever) once it's done. Firmware updates can brick a card, and if your installer only brought one or two, you should be very careful with what you do until you're certain the firmware is up to date. You can check your firmware revision going into it, and make sure it's updated and all the settings are looking good.

    2) The single cards (PKM600) in my unit seem to have three out of the six options set to "RESERVED" under the CableCARD diagnostics screen, whereas the multi-card (PKM800) had all six available to me. Don't worry about it, almost all the information you really need is still available on the three that are showing.

    3) I have escalated the multi-card problem within TiVo, but if you have a problem, you should probably report it as well. They probably allocate development and testing resources based on the number of complaints. I'd love to find out that this is a TiVo glitch, and that it's something they can fix with a simple software push...that would proactively solve some of these problems before anyone else gets hit with them. It's most likely the cable company, however, as the channel list, I'm seeing, is being pushed from the head-end. TiVo has all their data accurate, so if the channel list maps frequencies to channels, TiVo has no way to override that. So it's most likely a problem with WoW. Anyone else have this experience?

    4) INSIST that the installer bring TWO multi-cards and at least TWO single-cards. The last installer brought three single and two multi; this made me happy. They'd already performed three truck rolls, and each time brought ONE card...sad. Don't just tell the CSR that you want them to put it in the notes...I would call back the night before the appointment and ask them to notify the assigned engineer that they need to pick up extra cards at the warehouse. The third guy to come out showed up to apologize that he hadn't even brought a single card out! Bad mojo.

    5) Don't give up if the channels are in the right place, but just some of them are missing. While the "wrong place" issue is still in the process of being worked out, the "right place, channels missing" issue is handled entirely by the CSR and NOC group. I believe the NOC group handles pushing the right stuff through, enables and disables channels, etc. The CSR group ensures that the appropriate package is entered and billed. So if the CSR group has it messed up, the NOC isn't authorized to do much...but just because your package shows correctly to the CSR group, doesn't mean the NOC has pushed the appropriate data through to the appropriate card(s).

    6) Although the Host ID does not appear to change based on the card inserted, it does appear to change based on the SLOT. So if you're switching out the mult-card in slot 1 each time, the Host ID won't change (my tech kept checking it). Once you start getting into the single-cards and using both slots, you'll notice that the second slot is different from the first slot (Host ID wise) and both of these numbers need to be reported to their NOC in order to push the appropriate program data through.

    Isn't encryption and DRM grand? Get used to it.... On the one hand, we have the Law, on the other hand, we have lobbyists trying to get around the Law in nefarious ways. As long as there are folks out there keeping them honest, that's all that matters, right? :)
     
  11. dino360

    dino360 New Member

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    Dec 29, 2008
    Gecko4639,

    So it sounds like it wouldn't be worth it to do it without the cable cards. That's one of the features I most like about Tivo (to Season Pass shows and then not have to worry if the time changes).
     
  12. Gecko4639

    Gecko4639 New Member

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Dino,

    You can sort of set a season pass. For instance, you can set a manual recording for every Monday, channel 200, 7:00 - 7:30 PM. But if the schedule is changed or the episode is a rerun or something like that, Tivo won't know the difference.

    If you do decide to add the cable card, Digital Value will give you all the basic channels, local HDs, plus cable HDs like ESPN, Discovery, TNT, etc. I had an M-card installed in my TivoHD last month and the installation went well. There was a brief moment where it looked like the card didn't work, but then everything that was supposed to be there was there. The installer was in and out in just over a half hour (and that included internet set up, too).
     
  13. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

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    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    Are they only charging you for one card, since they couldn't get it to work?

    Glad to hear you're done!
     
  14. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...
    I suspect they will charge me for two, so I will squawk. :)

    Mostly. I will help TiVo out if the Level 2 calls me...as I do have the multi-card in reserve for that very purpose. It's not cool that there's a problem with the cable card that the cable company doesn't want to address. It seems, to me, that the channel mapping would all be on their end, having nothing to do with TiVo. Hope it gives them more ammunition with the FCC.
     
  15. c615586

    c615586 New Member

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    So I am considering switching to WOW from TWC because of the switched digital video issues and the ever escalating monthly bills.

    How comparable is WOW to TWC as far as M-card availability and service in the Columbus, OH area? Is channel selection decent?

    I will probably also use their internet and phone services, too. Does anyone have any experience/opinions regarding their other services?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Galloway,...
    In my personal, recent experience, WOW in Columbus, Ohio has older M-Cards, they provide half-hearted support for them (read my earlier post about the channel map being completely wrong), so if you need an M-Card rather than two S-Cards, I would recommend not going with WOW until they have it figured out. Also, make sure you insist that they bring multiple cards with them, of both type, as people have spoken of issues with some of the cards.

    When the tech was on-site, he spoke with another tech in our area who was also attempting an M-Card install in a TiVo HD - same problem. They "resolved" the issue by using two S-Cards. Of course, that's not really a fix, not at all...but other than that, WoW's been pretty good for me. Less expensive, decent phone support, and may or may not have the same SDV policies as TWC.

    When I spoke with TWC about the cable cards, they stated that they only support the S-Cards, so maybe they had the same problem with the Scientific Atlanta M-Cards and decided it wasn't worth the support costs?

    I cannot speak for their phone or Internet service.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2009 #257 of 285
    c615586

    c615586 New Member

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    I just saw a post on another forum--Rochester NY is getting sdv adaptors. Anyone here have experience with them?
     
  18. Jan 1, 2009 #258 of 285
    c615586

    c615586 New Member

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Thanks for the tips. I need to get a final quote to see if there is a financial benefit for moving over to WOW. If TWC comes up with SDV adapters, then I would definitely stay with them.
     
  19. Jan 2, 2009 #259 of 285
    ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

    1,564
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    Oct 10, 2004
    Macomb Twp., MI
    I've had WOW since they came to my neighborhood (about 3-4 years, at least). I only recently added phone service.

    Good customer service (especially their on-site techs--not always TiVo knowledgeable, but always polite), and you can ask for discounts.
     
  20. Feb 7, 2009 #260 of 285
    ted_b

    ted_b New Member

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    Mar 8, 2002
    So has this happened to you (not necessarily a WOW issue but I thought I'd post on this thread cuz it's a follow-up to my WOW installer story earlier):
    * I use both tuners on TivoHD a lot. I see that I keep missing a show or two a week cuz my CableCard 2 slot goes dead (unauthorized), until i reboot and all is fine. I haven't timed it or anything; I always find out after the fact. In my case, it's really pissing me off cuz I'm recording and watching Curb your Enthusiasm's in order, and when i miss a day it's gone.

    (Note: I had a billing issue a few weeks ago and when on the phone saw that they were charging me for two cards, even though the installer and his manager swore they would make a note that because they were without M-cards they would charge em only one. Now I'm paranoid that my success in convincing billing to charge me only one has something to do with my second card going dead all the time, as if it's checking and saying "deauthorize".)

    Any experience? Thx
    Ted
     

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